03 Oct Liz Becker
Democrat for Nevada State Senate District 18
Candidate contact information:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: (702)561-8952
CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.:
I have been exceptionally lucky in life and feel it is my duty to give back all that has been given to me, not just to my own children, but to our community. My life experiences as an educator, environmental scientist, and former employee of the Southern Nevada Water Authority make me uniquely qualified to serve in the State Legislature, and I am ready to do the work.
What policies would you pursue to diversify the state’s economy and create new jobs that pay a living wage?
As the current crisis has made more clear than ever, we must prioritize creating and sustaining jobs that will endure outside of tourism. The fields of education, nursing, sanitation, food preparation and delivery, and public safety have shown their essential nature. I supported raising the minimum wage to $12. Teacher development and retention is especially important in order to train the next generation for a job market that will look radically different than today's. I am in support of expanding opportunities for apprenticeships in the trades and vocational programs at the high school level.
The 2019 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution 10 (AJR 10) to amend the Nevada Constitution to remove the two-tiered minimum wage system and ensure a set minimum wage of $12. What are your views on passing AJR 10 in the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session to put it on the ballot in 2022?:
I support passing AJR 10 again in 2021 and seeing it on the ballot in 2022.
In 2019, Nevada joined the US Climate Alliance and took aggressive steps to address climate change by increasing our Renewable Portfolio Standard and encourage a shift to clean energy sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind. What policies do you support to continue this effort, particularly in the transportation sector?
I support modernizing our transportation funding formula to incentivize efficiency as we move to electrification of the transportation sector. We should also encourage drivers to seek alternate modes of transport, i.e. public transportation. We need to focus on strategic regional design and encourage infill development and transit-oriented development.
How can the State work with localities to address the housing and homelessness crisis we are currently facing? Specifically, what measures or policies can we enact to make housing more affordable for all Nevadans?
Nevada faces an affordable housing crisis. I believe that solutions must focus on housing first and wrap-around services for those experiencing homelessness. My family has personal experience with homelessness. Our daughter struggled with addiction and as a result was homeless for over a year. She is now an addiction recovery coach and we often talk about trauma as a root cause of homelessness and how mental health treatment must be included in any "solution" for homelessness. In terms of affordable housing, increasing the minimum wage is a start, but we must also work with developers to encourage construction of multi-family units through public-private partnerships.
If elected, do you support bold enhancements to the existing paid sick days law?
Yes, I supported SB312 last session. I am supportive of ensuring that Nevada workers can take time off from work if they are sick or need to stay home with a child who is out of school sick. No one should have to make the choice between going to work sick or putting groceries on the table or paying rent or a mortgage.
With the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being repealed by the Supreme Court, including the Medicaid expansion and protections on coverage for preexisting conditions, what should be done to address the way in which Nevadans get access to affordable health care?
I support a public option at the state level, and I look forward to seeing the results of the SCR10 study currently underway. I am hopeful this study will provide us with valuable information about how we can create a Nevada-specific public option to help bring down health care costs.
The United States has become the most dangerous place in the world for a woman to give birth, especially black women. For every 100,000 live births, 42 women die. What policies would you support to protect pregnant mothers?
As a lactation consultant who has trained with certified nurse midwives and also a former intern at Planned Parenthood, I am intimately familiar with this topic. Pregnant women, especially low-income women and women of color, need better prenatal options that are included in all insurance plans. Insurance plans should be required to pay for doulas and midwives both in hospitals and at birthing centers and home births. The presence of advocates at a woman's birth have been shown to reduce the risk of deadly complications during labor, delivery, and post-partum care.
In 2019, Nevada state family planning grant funding was increased by way of legislation. What additional measures do you believe are still needed to ensure families have equitable access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care?
My previous answer partially addresses this question as well, but also, all reproductive health care services should be covered by insurance, including Medicaid and any public option that becomes available to Nevadans.
What do you believe is the best approach to ensure all of Nevada’s children have equal access to a quality public education? How do we address the significant education funding shortfall?
Taxpayer money should only be directed to public schools and charter schools should not be for-profit institutions. I supported the funding formula changes that came out of last session. We must recruit, train, and retain more quality teachers and reduce class sizes. All of these things will take more money and due to COVID-19 we are looking at greatly reduced revenues. There will be some really tough conversations on funding across the board next session, but education funding is one of my highest priorities.
The majority of Nevada’s children are children of color, and many families have been affected by current immigration policies, incarceration, and criminal sentencing policies. How would you work to address these issues to provide opportunities to all Nevadans?
As the parent of a black child, this question hits close to home. I think often about how institutional racism will affect our children's lives and what I can do to change the status quo of higher incarceration rates for people of color and longer sentences for the same crimes. Representation matters and one of the most important things we can all do is support people of color in judicial and legislative races so our children can see themselves in these roles, as white children of both sexes have been able to do for decades.
What are your views on the use of Nevada’s financial resources to support the deportation efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency?
I do not agree with using state funds to support a federal agency.
In 2019, Nevada significantly expanded voting rights and accessibility to voting locations. What additional measures, if any, are needed to improve the efficiency, accessibility, and integrity of elections?
At this point in time, I believe we should be focusing our efforts almost exclusively on expanding mail-in ballot capabilities. We are already ahead of the curve nationwide by allowing no-excuse mail balloting and an extended period of early voting. June's primary will be a test of our system and I look forward to learning lessons that we can apply in future.
What are your positions on legislation to address gun violence prevention?
I am an Everytown for Gun Safety Gunsense candidate and the former chapter leader and communications director of Moms Demand Action in Nevada. I was in full support of the background check law and the omnibus safety bill that passed last session. I support common sense gun reform legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in our state.
What are your views on regulating marijuana within the state of Nevada?
I have supported legalizing marijuana since obtaining the right to vote in 2000. I would like to see the approval of marijuana consumption lounges so that tourists are not in the position of breaking the law after legally purchasing product, but having nowhere to consume. I would like to see legalization at the federal level. I would also like to see an increase in the number of minority owned businesses in the industry here in Nevada.
Nevada has one of the largest shares of public land of any state in the country, providing access for a variety of recreational and commercial uses. How would you address the issues related to public lands and their continued future uses?
I oppose the transfer of any more of this land to the Department of Defense and oil and gas leasing. I support opening up appropriate spaces for recreational use and designating other areas as wilderness. The key to all these decisions is robust stakeholder involvement and respecting the rights of Nevadans whose families have historically had access, including our native American communities.
Nevada is experiencing a more than a decade long drought. What is your position on addressing climate change and protecting Nevada’s water supply?
As an environmental scientist who worked on the Water Smart Landscapes program as part of the Conservation department within the Southern Nevada Water Authority, I have the most experience with this topic than any other asked about above. Climate change is a global crisis and our region of the United States stands to be most affected, especially our water supply. The key to protecting Nevada's water supply is aggressive water conservation measures and robust urban planning. Southern Nevada is a worldwide leader in water conservation strategies and I would like to see more focus on the urban planning side.